Hello, we live on the Isle of Skye, on a 3.8 hectare croft planted with native woodland about 15 years ago. We aim to grow food and firewood, as well as improve the habitat for wildlife. We have a young daughter, an elderly rescue collie and five ducks. We need help with many practical projects around the croft this winter.
Help with Eco project
Phil is a wildlife tour guide with extensive knowledge of Scottish wildlife, especially birds Both of us have worked for conservation charities in the past. We will be happy to spend an afternoon each week showing you around the local area looking out for Otters, Eagles, Deer or anything else you are keen to see. The opportunity to learn about local wildlife whilst working with Phil will be the biggest benefit, along with experiencing life on a Scottish island. We are also keen to learn from you as we are figuring most things out as we go along... :)
We are looking for an independent couple to help us with practical tasks around the croft for a few weeks in December 2017.
Potential projects will include the following -
Hedgerow and tree planting
Building signs, raised beds, cold frames, shed storage, a new duck house
Collecting duck eggs, providing food and water and changing bedding
Preparing willow for weaving
Creating new paths
Filling holes in paths
Processing tree seeds and seedlings (stratifying)
Creating a herb garden
Possibly dog sitting for our elderly rescue collie
We will ask you to work for 4 hours on 4 days out of each week. Days and times can be decided at the start of the week.
English, very basic Spanish
Accommodation will be in our secluded holiday cottage. We order food from Highland Whole Foods and you'll be able to prepare your meals and eat in the cottage, which has a fully equipped kitchen. We'll enjoy dinner all together on your arrival, and also share a few meals together each week.
You'll receive a warm welcome when you arrive here at the croft. Practical jobs on the croft will be carried out working alongside Phil. We've been residential volunteers ourselves on nature reserves, and have worked with residential volunteers during our time as Rangers on Handa Island with the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Most of the tasks will be outdoors and as the weather here can be very bad at any time of year flexibility with volunteering hours is required. We do have an agricultural shed, so we can escape the worst of the weather and work in there if we need to.
Since the West coast of Scotland has very unstable weather, it is wise to bring lots of clothes that can be used in any weather - and waterproofs are highly recommended. Also bring some clothes you are not afraid to get dirty and wellies. You will probably get really muddy!! Lots of layers and warm clothing will be needed.
Our croft is quite remote so having your own transport will enable you to make the most of exploring the local area - we are happy to give lifts if we go out and about, but we are very remote here and public transport is extremely limited in winter. We'll be very happy to collect you from Kyle Train Station, Armadale Ferry Pier or the bus stop in Broadford if you plan to arrive by public transport.
We live in a crofting township in Sleat, South Skye, often referred to as the 'Garden of Skye'. Broadford is our nearest hub (7 miles) with shops, ATM, Post Office, Doctors Surgery, Hospital and Pharmacy. There are lots of events locally where visitors to the area can enjoy traditional Scottish music. We live about twenty minutes away from the Gaelic College 'Sabhal Mor Ostaig' where you can enjoy cultural entertainment. Sleat has a strong Gaelic speaking community. We are about 5 miles from the nearest pub, Am Praban bar at Isle Ornsay, and in winter there will be no or very limited public transport. There are endless walks and beaches and ruins to explore, but a car is required here to fully explore. Skye is a large island with the most iconic visitor attractions being located in the north end - most over an hours drive away.
We'll expect volunteers to respect the accommodation as this provides a big part of our income. All bedding, towels, firewood, cleaning products and food will be provided for you. We'll provide a generous food budget and you can choose your items from an online shopping list. We have lots of literature on the local area in the accommodation and on our website, as well as books, DVDs, and games. The big windows and secluded nature of the accommodation make it great for creative projects such as drawing and writing when the weather is wild outside.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week